As a party DJ, Rice excels at dropping old-school soul into the mix, adding a classy complement to hip-hop's hottest right-now jams. When crafting beats, he follows the same formula, bouncing between atmospheric R&B tracks and grimy, dungeon-rap bangers. On The City, Rice combines both blends with some of the region's fastest flows. Xta-C, an in-demand contributor on the strength of his 2003 smash "So Heavy," brings a monster chorus to the radio-ready "Who Dat?" Veteran speed-spitter the Popper teams up with Rice to rep their town on the title track, with the lyricist dropping dozens of local landmarks into his verses and the producer incorporating some genuinely jazzy elements. Some of the mouthpieces aren't up to the challenge, squandering strikingly sparse synth-horn-and-creepy-keys compositions with pedestrian boasts and threats, but with this much bass booming in the backdrops, listeners can eliminate any lackluster vocals with a simple twist of the knobs.